HARTFORD — Newly released dash camera video shows the minutes leading up to the arrest of Hartford Detective Robert Lanza.
Plainville police said officers stopped the 11-year Hartford police veteran after reports of an erratic driver on state Route 72 in August. During the 30-minute video, Lanza was heard swearing at officers and using a racial slur.
"I’m a cop in Hartford," he said. "You can’t help a guy out?"
Police said the 44-year-old man was unsteady on his feet and wouldn’t take sobriety tests.
“I’m not doing the test, I’m not doing the test, I’m not doing it," Lanza said.
When Plainville police asked Lanza if he had a drink, he failed to respond.
"While speaking to Lanza he appeared extremely intoxicated, his speech was severely slurred while he spoke, his eyes appeared glossy and read and I could smell the distinct odor of an alcoholic beverage emanating from his person, even though he had chewing tobacco in his mouth," the police report stated.
The video ended with a slight struggle between Lanza and Plainville police as they took him into custody.
After Hartford Police learned of Lanza's arrest, Deputy Chief Brian Foley of Hartford police, said an immediate internal investigation was initiated.
"When something like this happens, we've watched other departments around the country make the mistake of hiding it and not sharing it with their community, we didn’t want to do that so we pride ourselves in accountability and transparency," Chief Foley told FOX61.
In a letter penned to the Hartford community, Chief Foley assured residents that the officer’s alleged actions and use of ethnic/racial slurs would be addressed through an internal investigation:
"We also want to assure you that while these offensive comments are not a part of the criminal charges, they will be specifically addressed in our administrative investigation and outcome."
Lanza has been assigned to internal administrative duties within the Detective Bureau. Lanza is facing charges of interfering with an officer and DUI.
Lanza was arrested again after failing to appear in court, last week, but those charges were later dropped after a court delay in paperwork appeared to cause a problem.